20 Goals for the 2020s

I’ve never made “decade goals” before. But now that the 2010s are coming to an end, I realized how much we accomplished over the last 10 years. I thought it might be fun and useful to set some intentions for the decade to come.

So by the time it’s the end of 2029, we hope to have completed the following 20 goals or activities or travels (as the case may be):

1. Visit all 7 continents

As of this writing, we have visited 3 continents (Europe, North America, and Asia). With our plan to retire early before the mid-2020s, we should be able to knock off the last four without typical job-related constraints. South America is the one that keeps eluding us. We got very close with Panama and will again with Costa Rica in early 2020. It would be nice to cross off a couple of these prior to retirement, but we’ll see what happens. In addition to South America,  Africa, Antarctica and Australia remain on our list.

2. Visit the 50 U.S. States together

We’re a little over halfway there. Note that we count these states only if we have visited together. For example, we’ve both visited Texas separately, so we don’t count it. A big road trip from California back to the Midwest checked off many of our states. We count states we’ve driven through, but not those where we didn’t leave an airport. Mr. Vine dreams of road tripping around the US in our SUV during early retirement. I believe we can visit 23 states in a decade. We plan to cross one or two new-to-us states off our list with our anniversary trip during the summer.

3. Retire early

This is a big one (maybe THE big one). We’re right on track to reach financial independence and sunset our traditional careers before 2024. It’s going to feel so good to mark this one complete. We don’t share our spending numbers or our exact net worth, but we do update our progress monthly.

4. Pay off mortgage / Achieve official debt freedom

If we don’t make an effort to do this early, our mortgage will be fully paid by October 2029. This might be one of the last goals we complete during the 2020s. Or, it’s possible that we’ll pay it off around the time we retire. Either way, we expect to be debt free by 2029!

5. Become millionaires

This will happen before we retire, but it’s still an important and fun milestone. We’re looking forward to being members of the double comma club. Our stretch goal for this one is before I turn 40. That’s going to require some help from the market (which we don’t count on) and probably an increase to our savings rate (which we do count on). 

6. Celebrate our 25th wedding anniversary

Another way to put this goal is to stay happily married to each other. We’ve always been on the same page for the big things. But sometimes the day to day can get stressful and frustrating. We love traveling together, so we believe that having the freedom to do more of that will make our marriage even happier. Our silver wedding anniversary will come at the end of the 2020 decade and we’re looking forward to all of the experiences we’ll share together between now and then.

7. Run the Dopey challenge

I’ve tentatively committed to doing this in 2023. Hopefully we’ll be in our retirement year (and possibly in our retirement quarter) by this time. Spoiler alert: it looks like we are on track to hit financial independence a year earlier than targeted. This is a big runDisney event and it involves running races in the following distances: 5km, 10km, 13.1 miles (Half Marathon), and 26.2 miles (Marathon) over four consecutive days. After my first runDisney event, I want to do others. The cost and travel time make it difficult, especially while I’m working full time.

8. Be comfortable living on a fixed income

This one is from Mr. Vine and it’s a good one. By the end of the decade, we should have several years of retirement under our belts. As the micro manager of our finances (he calculates our monthly numbers, while I set the big long term goals), he’s looking forward to having our spending dialed in. By the end of the 2020s, we will be getting close to Phase 2, or traditional retirement years. We will be about three-quarters through our Phase 1, or early retirement years. 

9. Have a BMI of 22 or less (Ms. Vine)

This is a proxy for being healthy. Exercise is important to me now, and I want to keep my weight healthy through diet and exercise in the years to come. My current BMI is slightly higher than this target number, so I have something to work towards. 

10. Volunteer our time with at least one organization

We volunteer now and I want to keep that up. It’s a great way to stay engaged and active in our community. With our added free time, I’m looking forward to saying yes to more mentoring opportunities.

11. Have income from a creative source

This is one of those “dare to dream big” goals. We don’t want to need an income outside of our investments by the end of 2029. But we also know that having an income, even a small one, increases the chances that our money will outlive us. Creative can be interpreted as either an out of the box way to make an income (like a side hustle) or making money from our creations. That could mean earning an income from blogging or other writing, Mr. Vine’s photography or other media. I don’t know that we’ll ever monetize any of these ideas but I have found that putting a goal out into the universe can help it become reality.

12. Great Loop — in progress, planning stage or completed (or abandoned after more investigation)

This is a very loose goal, that we might abandon for a number of good reasons. The number one reason would be that we don’t feel like our fixed income can sustain the costs of acquiring and maintaining a boat. Another good reason would be that we try out boating and decide we don’t love it enough to spend a year or more on the water. I’ve also set this goal up so that it’s successful if we’re deep in the planning stage–that is, we know what year we’re planning on, we’re seriously shopping for boats, etc. By the end of the 2020s, we should at least know whether this is a goal we’re going to pursue, or not.

13. Be happier

Here’s another very loosely defined goal. I do feel happier and more content with my life in 2019 than I did in 2009. This goal is all about focusing on the present and enjoying every day for what it brings. 

14. Make our own soap

This has been on my list to try for so long. I’ve enjoyed in-sourcing many of our consumable products. Soap continues to elude me. Within the next 10 years, I want to have tried doing this once. Maybe it will be like our switch to natural, homemade deodorant. I tried making deodorant and now our homemade stuff is all we use. Or maybe soap will be tried once and never again.

15. Travel friendly, minimalist wardrobe

I have a mental vision of what this looks like, but it’s tough to articulate. At its essence, it means a pared down closet. I’m already working on this by not immediately replacing articles of clothing that are discarded. For now, I need to own business attire. But the reality is, I already own enough of it. As part of this goal, I’m committing not to buy another article of work-specific attire. Ever Again. After our early retirement, I plan to have a ceremonial purge of anything I wouldn’t want to wear on a weekend. I want a wardrobe that looks great, in which just about any piece is comfortable enough to wear on an airplane. In theory my wardrobe would be small enough to fit completely in a suitcase. But that seems a little extreme at this point. And unnecessary, because I think we’ll continue to have a home base for the foreseeable future.

16. Take a yacht vacation

This goal doesn’t need to wait until retirement. Through our timeshare, we have a membership in a yacht chartering service that is relatively affordable. Taking one of these vacations is one of several prerequisites to buying a boat of our own. It will give us the chance to see how we feel about being on a small-ish boat overnight. The boats offered through this service are larger than what we’d likely purchase, but close enough in size to help us become more educated.

17. Be location independent, likely with a small home base (perhaps our current condo)

We’re not stuck on the idea of staying in our current condo. But for the foreseeable future, it is a logical choice. It would be easy to leave for extended periods of time. The pool is awesome during the summer months. And it’s the right size and price. If we find that a full time nomadic life suits us best, we may sell our current place (or rent it out). For now, though, we see ourselves wanting a home base of sorts during early retirement.

18. Weekly(ish) friend dates

Our friendships mean a lot to us. We don’t see any reason to leave our friends behind when we achieve financial independence. Most of our current friendships developed outside of work, so we don’t expect there to be much change at all to those relationships. At least once a week or more, we want to make time to cultivate those connections with the people who matter most to us. We make time for our friends and family now and want that to continue. 

19. Get outside everyday

Working in an office often feels like being in a cage for the best parts of each day. We’d like to focus on spending more time outside. I could do a better job of this right now by walking to work more often. This doesn’t need to wait until retirement (much like most of these goals).

20. Time for reading and writing daily

Again, here’s another one that doesn’t need to wait until early retirement. I think it will be easier then. The goal here is to continue growing and learning. That is important during our careers and will be after, as well.  

It’s your turn! Have you thought about what you hope the next decade looks like? What do you want to accomplish or do over the coming ten years? Do you have a decade list or your own?

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